By Gunnar Peterson
Gunnar Peterson is one of the most well-known names in the fitness world, he trains the likes of Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Ciara, and a host of professional athletes. He is known for functional training, as well as keeping workouts fresh, and we most recently got the chance to workout with Gunnar at the Propel Labs on the beach in Santa Monica. Here’s what Gunner has to say about why we are Made to Move.
You've made your career in fitness and getting people moving - how do you know that our bodies are made to move?
Just look at us! Arms, legs, a head that swivels, muscles, joints, connective tissue, 3 planes of motion, and so many great things to do — there’s no question that we were made to move. We came first, chairs and couches came long after that! We have moved, and hunted and gathered, and replenished, and recovered since the beginning of time. The movement, as well as the replenishing and recovery are all integral parts of our existence, and the better we do each of those, the more full our lives can be. Focusing on replacing what we lose, like electrolytes in sweat, can easily be done with Propel. Focusing on repairing tissue after you breakdown the body in your workouts can be done through diet. And focusing on giving your body time to put it all back together and ready you for the next bout can easily be done with adequate sleep. Using all of that information should make it even easier for you to get out there and move like you were made to do.
What is the optimal amount of activity for our bodies?
Years ago the US Secretary of Health said 60-90 minutes a day was optimal. That scared a lot of people and made many other freeze in their tracks for fear of not doing enough. I try to use that as a benchmark. If you workout or play a sport for an hour and then add to that your incidental daily activity and keep it all consistent, my bet is you’ll be fine. Make sure you put back what you lose when you sweat with Propel Water with electrolytes and get adequate protein in your diet, plus enough rest, and you will be as optimal as optimal gets.
What would you say to someone who has been inactive for a long time, to convince them that their body is actually made to move, and that they just have to get moving/ get started?
I’d say: “Let’s get started! There is no fitness anniversary except for NOW! You were made to move! Look at you! Look at me! Let’s get it going! Make sure you are hydrated and have some fuel in the tank before we get going and then let’s go! Replenish as we go with Propel Water so that our electrolytes are kept in check, make sure we eat after we move so that our bodies have some building blocks to work with during our upcoming recovery process — sleep — and then let’s do it all again tomorrow!” That’s what I’d say to them… But that’s just me.
Although our bodies are made to move, why are rest days so important?
Rest days are extremely important. They are like one of the wheels on your car. Without one, it completely changes how well it rides. Your body needs to rebuild what you broke down, it needs to replenish, and it needs to recover. Give it the proper time, nutrition, and hydration, and it will serve you well for years to come. Try to cheat it, and you will be taking your car to the mechanic a lot more often!
What is your go-to workout?
My go-to workout begins with a cardio movement of choice — upright bike, elliptical, treadmill, Arc trainer, or rower for 30-45 minutes with a varied sprint interval every minute to two minutes. Then I do a full body stretch for 8-15 minutes depending on how much time I have overall, followed by 30-45 minutes of resistance training that incorporates functional movements and core activation techniques, as well as power and strength movements, from deadlifts and squats to pull-ups and good old fashioned curls. I have some almond butter about 45 minutes before my workout, and I sip Gatorade throughout the session. I train at 4:30am every day with 2 fellow trainers, and it’s hard and fun at the same time.
How important is staying hydrated in keeping your body at its top movement potential? How important are electrolytes?
I try to read and study up on any and all things health, fitness, and nutrition. One of the studies I read that has stuck with me over the years (and that’s a lot of years!) said that your body functions optimally during activity when proper hydration is maintained. Seemed logical to me. Further in that study it said that during intense exercise, your body could sustain a higher level of performance for a longer period of time if electrolyte balance was maintained, and it specifically cited Gatorade. I read that over 15 years ago, and I have not trained without Gatorade since. Why wouldn’t I? I want to get the most out of my body when I train. I push myself every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But that’s just me…
Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer whose clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday people. Gunnar works with each on an individual basis, focusing on achieving long-term results through challenging and constantly varied workouts. He is widely recognized for his expertise in functional training and his commitment to developing and implementing innovative fitness techniques.
Gunnar’s innovative approach and his devotion to pursuing and communicating only the most credible and effective fitness information have resulted in several corporate partnerships and business opportunities. Gunnar currently enjoys relationships with Gatorade/Propel, Under Amour, Epson and Dolce & Gabbana.
He is the developer of Core Secrets, a project done with the Gunthy-Renker Corporation, that is an 18 DVD fitness system featuring full-body and body-part specific workouts focused on strengthening the core of the body. In the Spring of 2010, Gunnar released, in partnership with Giam and Shape magazine, the ‘Best Ever Hollywood Workout’ DVD. He released his first book, G-Force, in January 2005 (Regan Books). Now out in paperback as The Workout, the book is about training, making it a part of your life, creating and maintaining a positive mindset, and improvising to keep workouts effective and interesting.
Gunnar resides in Los Angeles with his wife, 4 children and 3.5 dogs.